“TV always shocks you,” says Seven’s Head of Scheduling, Brook Hall.
“That’s one thing I’ve learned in this business. 12 months ago we said ‘The Good Doctor is coming in a few weeks’ and the marketplace went ‘It’s a US drama… whatever.’
“But it went ka-boom! On broadcast linear.
“So it never shocks you. It’s always exciting.”
Hall (pictured left) has been at Seven for 8 years, working alongside Director of Network Programming Angus Ross (pictured right). Yet while some execs get excited about their newest shows unveiled at Seven’s annual AllFronts, Hall unashamedly finds time for the shows that underpin his schedule.
“People might call me boring but I still get excited by our legacy franchises. It’s not as ‘sexy’ to report and I totally get it. We’re celebrating MKR Season 10, but nobody wants to get up and go Better Homes & Gardens season 23, House Rules season 7,” he tells TV Tonight.
“Home and Away never gets credit for being a show that is still sitting there in its 30th year. People say drama is dead in broadcast?
“It’s seen as ‘uncool’ by the media but the heartland audience still love it. It’s a show that has produced some of the biggest global stars on the planet.”
When he arrived in 2010 to schedule 7mate, Seven programming was headed by Tim Worner, and included both Angus Ross and veteran John Stevens.
On the back of its male-skewing programmes, including local shows, Deadly Down Under. Outback Truckers, Outback Opal Hunters and Aussie Salvage Squad, 7mate is now the top-performing multichannel in the country.
“The thing we are most proud about with 7mate, and the reason why it is so successful as a channel, in this fragmented world you can’t just launch a channel, call it ‘X’ and here are some shows,” he continues.
“7mate has a clearly defined brand and that’s why it performs so well. We see people check the channel, not just by flicking, but by appointment. That’s why we are really excited about the Food Network. You have to be pretty clear about brands and it is pretty simple when it says what it is on the label.”
Seven has signed an output deal with Discovery (US) for its Food Network shows, some of which will move from SBS Food Network.
“The vast majority of the content won’t have been seen. (SBS) had access to the library but I’m no exactly sure what their deal was,” he explains.
“We will also move into that space with our own content, through acquisitions and production.
“The talent is a mixture of the biggest food brand in the world producing content for us, and now the biggest local food brand in terms of Seven producing content for one channel. So we’re quite excited about it.”
7Food launches on December 1st, which although it is the last day of the survey year, is strategically timed to complement Seven’s Cricket which is expected to attract more male viewers.
“We think Cricket will be amazing for us, but we are also the most-female network. So we’ll change the profile of Cricket slightly, which we have seen with AFL.
“We’re trying to make sure that in Summer we are still catering something for everyone.”
7Food launches December 1 on Channel 74.